No time for sides to drop of bowl

February 10, 2018

Keep on going: Hill Top's Jock Hicks has had a fantastic season and will be looking to continue this against Shepparton Golf today.

Goulburn Valley Bowls Division sides cannot afford to leave anything in the tank with only three rounds left.

While Nagambie and Shepparton Park are at loggerheads for a spot in the finals, sixth-placed Hill Top will not be resting on its laurels.

As the Lakers or the Parkers harbour expectations of making the finals, the Hillbillies know if they perform in the final matches a post-season appearance could come.

But the road is not easy.

This week Hill Top hosts Shepparton Golf, followed by top side Kyabram and then Seymour.

The Hillbillies have tried to keep a consistent side in recent weeks, with no changes following last week’s scintillating one-shot victory against East Shepparton.

A minor shift sees Andrew Cross switching from second in Jeff McNaughton’s rink to join Jock Hicks.

Hicks’ side has plenty to back up after putting in a superb performance which resulted in a 14-shot defeat of Nick Boyd in last week’s nail-biting team victory.

To make way for Cross’ inclusion, Noel Mulcahy will look to strengthen Murray Stark’s rink.

Shepparton Golf is also unchanged following last week’s win against Stanhope.

As Golf continues to boast not only some of the strongest rinks in the league but also players capable of starring individually, Brad Orr’s side still starts favourites to win.

But with the Hillbillies attitude, it is likely Hicks or Murray Stark could claim a rink and make matters difficult for Golf.

East Shepparton had to forgo quality points after its one-shot loss to Hill Top, with Golf now within reach of second spot.

The side needs to stem the influence of Kyabram supreme skips David Cartwright and Greg Shilling.

While Cartwright shows his flair each game, Shilling’s unflustered nature makes for a combination of two of the most potent skips in the GVBD.

They will be looking to atone a sizeable loss in round five, when Shilling and Cartwright were unable to get across the line in their rinks.

A match between Stanhope and Seymour could go either way, despite Stanhope hosting the clash.

Rob Baldwin can test the top skips in the competition and the Seymour supremo will be looking to make his mark today.

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